Mushroom Carnitas Tacos

For the best vegan tacos recipe look no further than these Mushroom Carnitas Tacos. They are filled with shredded, marinated and baked king oyster mushrooms. An ultra flavorful plant-based tacos filling for all your Taco Tuesday Needs!#veganrecipes #tacos #mexicanrecipes #vegantacos #plantbased

Looking for the best recipe for vegan tacos? Look no further than these Mushroom Carnitas Tacos. They are filled with shredded, marinated and baked king oyster mushrooms. An ultra flavorful plant-based tacos filling for all your Taco Tuesday Needs!

overhead shot of vegan mushroom carnitas tacos topped with Jalapeno and cilantro leaves

I think I just found the best recipe for  Vegan Tacos!

Let me introduce you to my new favorite way to eat tacos. With mushrooms. Yes, you heard me. Ladies and gents, I give you – Mushroom Carnitas! There, I said it! Bear with me – it will all make sense in a second.

First off, let’s talk about carnitas – a Mexican staple and one of the most popular taco fillings EVER. Typically carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in fat until tender and then crisped up under a broiler.

I am obviously not too crazy about simmering anything in fat, so rather than braising the mushrooms in tons of lard, we soak them in a zesty marinade made from a blend of Mexican spices and citrus juice. Then we roast them in the oven until they get crispy and delicious just like real Mexican restaurant-style carnitas.

We all know that mushrooms, in general, tend to have magical properties, and king oysters (also known as king trumpet mushrooms) are extra special. No, they won’t make you see all the colors but hey, you can shred them and bake them to crispy vegan-meaty perfection, free from soy. Let me tell you, this discovery blew my mind in all the right ways. This is seriously the best recipe for vegan tacos.

overhead shot of vegan mushroom carnitas tacos tipped with cilantro, quick pickled onions and avocado

Which mushrooms shall I use for making vegan taco meat? 

King oyster mushrooms is where it’s at! What looks a bit like pulled pork or chicken in these tacos are actually shredded and baked king oyster mushrooms. We choose them because they pull apart easily, have great soaking abilities and boast a denser, chewier texture than any other ‘shroom out there.

Once you know what you’re are looking for, they are pretty hard to miss as King oyster mushrooms are gigantic and look pretty outlandish. But trust me, they taste amazing! Earthy but mild with a texture that comes really close to meat.

If there’s an Asian market nearby your home, try your luck there first. But even your local grocery store might have them. If you cannot find them at all – try portobellos. They won’t pull apart as effortlessly and you might not get that gorgeous meaty texture, but all mushrooms are kind of amazing in their own way, so you’re still going to love these tacos.

How to make Mushroom Carnitas Tacos:

picture collage demonstrating how to chop mushrooms and slice them to make mushroom carnitas

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 400F/200C degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, spices, garlic, and salt. Set aside.

Step 2 & 3 – Prepare the mushrooms. Slice the caps off and cut them into very thin slices.

picture collage demonstrating how to shred oyster mushrooms into carnitas

Step 4, 5 & 6 – Then, using your fingers, pinch the stems and shred them into pieces – some thick, some thinner to mimic shredded meat.

picture collage demonstrating how to marinate and bake mushrooms to make vegan carnitas

Step 7 & 8 Transfer to the bowl and mix until every piece of mushroom is well coated. Arrange on a large baking sheet in a single layer, spreading them as much as you can.

Step 9 – Bake for 45-50 minutes, taking the pan out of the oven every 15 minutes or so to stir thoroughly. The mushrooms are ready when they are golden brown and a bit crispy on the outside.baked vegan mushroom carnitas on a baking sheet

The mushrooms will reduce in size quite a lot. They shouldn’t render any water anymore and look a bit dry (see pic above). Don’t worry, they won’t taste dry.

picture collage - a jar with quick pickled onions next to charred tortillas

Step  10 (optional) –  Make quick pickled red onions: in a pot, mix 1 cup water, 1/2 white wine vinegar, 3 tbsp sugar, and 2 tsp salt. Heat until dissolved. Cut one large red onion into thin slices, place in a glass container and pour vinegar mixture to cover the slices. Soak for at least 30 minutes. Store in the liquid.

Step 11 – While the mushrooms are cooking, char the tortillas and prepare the rest of the taco toppings. Take them out of the oven and let them cool slightly before serving in tortillas, with your toppings. Or, go all out and set up a “taco bar” on the table, where everyone can build their own tacos with their favorite toppings. So much fun!

Healthy Vegan Taco Toppings:

Here are my favorite toppings for vegan tacos.

  • lime wedges
  • avocado slices or chunks
  • cilantro leaves, chopped (or not)
  • red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • white or red onion, thinly chopped
  • picked red onion (see recipe above in Step 10)
  • radish, thinly sliced
  • a drizzle of vegan cashew cream
  • this creamy avocado sauce

overhead shot of vegan mushroom carnitas tacos topped with avocado and cilantro

How to make these vegan mushroom tacos low carb?

As a low carb alternative, you can forego the tortillas and serve the mushroom carnitas in lettuce cups or lettuce wraps. Want to big? Collard greens also make for an excellent low carb wrap/burrito substitute.

More healthy recipes to use mushroom carnitas for: 

Obviously these would be great on top on nachos, or stuffed into a quesadilla.

But let’s think healthy – Mushroom Carnitas are also a brilliant addition to all your favorite salads or bowls. I love to add them to my Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls instead of the chicken. Or I make a Mushroom Carnitas Burger Bowl with Charred Pineapple. Any bowl recipe on this blog, you can use these carnitas for as the main protein.

Tips for making this recipe for Vegan Tacos:

  • Using King oyster mushrooms is really important here. Other types of mushrooms won’t shred.
  • To double the servings for this recipe, double all the ingredients but use TWO baking sheets instead of one or make two separate batches. Do not crowd the mushrooms on a single pan.
  • If you are having difficulties shredding apart the mushrooms with your fingers, you might have an easier time shredding them between two forks.
  • To keep this recipe vegan, I use this vegan Worcester Sauce. 
  • These can be made gluten-free by using almond flour tortillas and using gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of Worcester Sauce.
overhead shot of vegan mushroom carnitas tacos
5 from 5 votes
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Recipe For Vegan Mushroom Carnitas Tacos

Looking for the best recipe for vegan tacos? Look no further than these Mushroom Carnitas Tacos. They are filled with shredded, marinated and baked king oyster mushrooms. An ultra flavorful plant-based tacos filling for all your Taco Tuesday Needs!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan
Keyword mushroom taco meat, vegan carnitas recipe, vegan mushroom tacos
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 Tacos
Calories 153 kcal
Author Marie

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice 1 large orange
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce use a vegan one to keep this recipe vegan
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb King oyster mushrooms - 9 to 12 mushrooms/ 450 g depending on their size. (see notes for other mushrooms)
  • 6 tortillas corn or wheat

Optional toppings:

  • lime wedges
  • avocado slices or chunks
  • cilantro leaves chopped (or not)
  • red cabbage thinly shredded
  • white or red onion thinly chopped
  • picked red onion see recipe below
  • radish thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, spices, garlic and salt. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the mushrooms. Slice the caps off and cut them into very thin slices. Then, using your fingers, pinch the stems and shred them into pieces - some thick, some thinner to mimic shredded meat.
  4. Transfer to the bowl and mix until every piece of mushroom is well coated. Arrange on a large baking sheet in a single layer, spreading them as much as you can.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, taking the pan out of the oven every 15 minutes or so to stir thoroughly. The mushrooms are ready when they are golden brown and a bit crispy on the outside (they shouldn’t render any water anymore and look a bit dry - but don’t worry, they won’t be!). They will reduce in size a lot.
  6. While the mushrooms are cooking, char the tortillas and prepare the taco toppings.
  7. Take them out of the oven and let them cool slightly before serving in tortillas, with your toppings (or set up a “taco bar” on the table, where everyone can build their own tacos with their favorite toppings).

Recipe Notes

Tips for making Vegan Mushroom Carnitas Tacos:

  • Using King oyster mushrooms is really important here. Other types of mushrooms won’t shred.
  • To double the servings for this recipe, double all the ingredients but use TWO baking sheets instead of one or make two separate batches. Do not crowd the mushrooms on a single pan.
  • If you are having difficulties shredding the mushrooms with your fingers, you might have an easier time shredding them between two forks.
Nutrition Facts
Recipe For Vegan Mushroom Carnitas Tacos
Amount Per Serving (1 carnitas taco (without toppings))
Calories 153 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Sodium 628mg 26%
Potassium 448mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 1.7%
Vitamin C 13.9%
Calcium 4.9%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

f you tried this Recipe for Vegan Tacos, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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5 Comments
  1. I have used diced mushrooms as a meat replacement in chili, but never thought to try it in tacos – so great! The tip about using oyster mushrooms is really helpful – I can see myself trying to “shred” some button mushrooms and failing miserably 😉

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